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Santorum News: Santorum’s Louisiana Win

March 26, 2012 by staff 

Santorum News: Santorum’s Louisiana Win, On May 20, 1980, George H.W. Bush won the Michigan Republican presidential primary by a nearly two-to-one margin over Ronald Reagan. It was an impressive, dominating victory over the GOP frontrunner, as Bush took 77 of the state’s 83 counties, carrying union members, Catholics and wealthy suburbanites.

Six days later, Bush was out of the race, deciding that Reagan’s delegate lead was too vast to overcome. He said he would ask his delegates to support Reagan at the national convention.

Enlarge Ken Rudin collection
Sometimes a long drawn out primary battle helps a party, as it did with the Democrats in 2008. Or not, as with the Ford-Reagan GOP fight in 1976.

Ken Rudin collection
Sometimes a long drawn out primary battle helps a party, as it did with the Democrats in 2008. Or not, as with the Ford-Reagan GOP fight in 1976.

When we think of parallels to 2012, there are two messages that emerge from this. One is that Bush read the writing on the wall, saw that he was not going to stop Reagan, and decided to quit. The other is that even though the battle went well into May, the party was united in plenty of time before the general election, when Reagan easily defeated President Jimmy Carter.

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